The 101st Bayreuth Festival opened today with a new staging of Richard Wagner's opera The Flying Dutchman. The celebrity audience including German Chancellor Angela Merkel were overshadowed by the sudden departure from the cast of its leading baritone, Evgeny Nikitin, who withdrew from the company four days ago after a German TV program showed film clips of the Russian singer sporting what appeared to be a swastika tattoo. [more inside]
At first, Collectors Weekly deleted virtually anything listed on their site bearing a Nazi swastika. Now they are explaining what changed their mind and why some people collect this particular paraphernalia.
The Corn Refiners Association has created a series of commercials to counter the increasing sentiment against high-fructose corn syrup. One commercial presents a lovely tableau of a couple in a park on a sunny day discussing how HFCS is not much to worry about (previously). A filmmaker reuses the technique to sell something a little bit less sweet.
An Unfortunate View From the Sky. The U.S. Navy has decided to spend as much as $600,000 for landscaping and architectural modifications to obscure the fact that one its building complexes looks like a swastika from the air.
These people are apparently unaware that the swastika was not a Nazi symbol in 1880. Is there more than one way to look at this? One Jew's perspective.